A collection of grievances, memories, occasional musings, and everyday happenings


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Warning: Your Thought Process May Be Scaring Your Husband

9781400315161_p0_v2_s260x420Before my husband and I were married, we attended a mini-marriage seminar held at our university. The couple who led us in a half-day long class about love and respect and parenting and the always awkwardly-anticipated, awkwardly-discussed topic of intimacy, began our class with this eye-opening thought:

Women’s brains are like spaghetti. Their thoughts are sometimes hard to follow, like a single noodle in a bowl full of tangled spaghetti, whereas men’s thoughts are compartmentalized, like syrup-holding squares in waffles. Spaghetti brains and waffle brains.

My husband had this look on his face like, Nailed it, as if he had been searching for exactly the right way to describe my scrambled, tangled, easy-to-get-lost-in way of thinking for quite some time. But now he had something to compare my mind to – spaghetti. And he was about to say “I do” to an eternity of bowls and bowls of it. Now, nearly 4 years later, I’m still immensely amused by the number of times in a week alone that Will gets raveled up in my thought process. It’s become a favorite hobby of mine – to see how fast I can lose him starting from one end of the “noodle” to the other. But then I started thinking maybe I should protect him a little bit more and warn him about what he’s getting himself into instead of dumping my metaphoric bowl of spaghetti on his head. Because let’s face it, ladies: we’re pretty scary creatures, and I think our awesome minds may be a little too scary for our men sometimes. Cool gift, though.

Here are some warning signs your waffley-thinking man might be a little freaked out by your spaghetti mind:

1. When his face says, “I’ve made a huge mistake.”

Close to 3 years of marriage, and Will still has the insatiable desire to ask me what I’m thinking. He just has to know, which I appreciate, and am usually happy to accommodate him with an answer (unless I’m thinking about something embarrassing, like the mafia breaking into our apartment and stealing our cat). But unless it’s actually something serious, he usually immediately regrets his decision when I say, “Well. It all started when…” Lost him again.

2. When his face says, “Is it almost over?”

Will may regret asking me what I was thinking about, but he never interrupts me. He waits it out, no matter how agonizing it is for him to follow my thoughts as they jump from lilypad to lilypad. His face looks a little pained though… Maybe I should start summarizing.

Nah.

3. When his face says, “My head hurts.”

I can understand that, because I live with myself every day, and sometimes even I make my own head hurt. It’s a crazy wilderness up there and anyone is subject to get lost. Even you.

my-head-hurts

4. When he actually says, “Wait, never mind!”

Will does really want to know what I’m thinking, but I think I give off a distinct glimmer in my eye or something when whatever I’m thinking about is in no way urgent and not necessarily remotely important, because when he sees said glimmer, he quickly retracts his statement. He knows he’s about to enter my “Mind Battlefield” (oooh what about that? Good name or keep searching?) and he’s not armored for such a task.

5. When he actually says, “Oh no.”

This is the “please save me” of all warning signs, and is normally reserved for this announcement:

Holly: Will, I’ve been thinking.

Will: Oh no.

I pretend to be really offended by this response, but really I just know he doesn’t want to go through steps 1-4 again. I think a lot; in fact, I don’t think I ever stop thinking. Sometimes I keep myself awake for hours because I can’t turn my brain off. But men? Men are perfectly capable of not thinking. When you ask them what they’re thinking about, and they respond with “nothing”, they’re being for real. They’re thinking about absolutely nothing. I would love to know what that’s like, just one time. Actually I think I experienced it in a yoga class once, but then someone walked in with freshly baked muffins and my meditation was all thrown off.

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Our poor guys. Think our spaghetti minds should go a little easier on ‘em?

Nah.

Images from here, here, here and here.


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5 Surprising Facts About An Austrian New Years

Vienna - party central.

Vienna – party central.

This was my first New Years abroad. I’ve always wondered what it would be like celebrating a new year hours ahead of my family and friends in the States, and I can tell you – it feels pretty much the same, because someone somewhere is always hours ahead. So, there’s that. But last night’s celebration in Vienna felt nothing close to the same as previous stateside celebrations. In my opinion, there was a bit more magic, more excitement, and more interesting traditions – some of which surprised me.

1. Have a good slide

In the U.S., we wish each other “Happy New Year”. In Austria, we wish one another “einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr”. A “Rutsch” is a slide, so basically the Austrians are wishing each other “Have a good slide into the New Year”.  I will never fall out of love with this phrase.

How was your slide into 2014? A safe and graceful landing, I hope?

2. Good Luck Charms

Unless I’m forgetting something, the only time I’ve ever seen the famous 4 Leaf Clover on shirts and hats and figurines is on St. Patrick’s Day. But on New Years in Austria, the 4 Leaf Clover makes its debut in a big way. It is on absolutely everything. And traditionally, if you’re spending New Years in Austria, you are to purchase something with a 4 Leaf Clover on it, and give that purchase to whomever you’re spending New Years with as a good luck charm for the year. Last night, we gave our friend a lucky mushroom, because he’s really into mushrooms (for making tasty sauces reasons), and to his brother, we gave a teeny-tiny pig.

3. Pigs

I need to do some research on how and why Austria chose its lucky charms, or maybe someone can tell me, but for some reason a pig is like, the charm of the New Year. My husband and I were downtown last night to get an early, chaos-avoiding glimpse of what goes on celebration wise, and I have never seen so many pigs in my life. Not real pigs of course. But pig hats with four dangling legs? You betcha.

RI2012-300-pig-hat

We should probably all own one.

4. The Waltz

Our German teacher told us a long time ago that at the stroke of midnight, Austrians everywhere turn on “The Blue Danube Waltz” and naturally, waltz. We very much wanted this to be true. Not that I’m calling our German teacher a liar, I just mean, we really wanted to see this culture-wide tradition happen before our own eyes. And we did! It wasn’t as “drop everything and waltz” as we had imagined, but the people in our firework watching/shooting area did indeed waltz to the music on their phones or in their cars. Will and I tried to waltz alongside a couple of older couples who really knew what they were doing. Our attempt was embarrassingly adorable. Sorry we didn’t take video.

5. Fireworks

I always thought the U.S. was intensely firework crazy what with its gigantic firework stores and tents, but now I think it might be Austria who’s firework crazy. Our Austrian friend told us that, on average, an Austrian family will spend about 200 euro on fireworks. That’s quite a bit of mula for fireworks. It definitely pays off though – big time. We heard fireworks days before New Years, and the fireworks lasted well into the late hours of the night (or the early hours of the morning?). We heard them from every direction and the sky flashed with all sorts of colors. I hope and pray we never experience war in our lives, but if I were to imagine what it sounded like in real life, last night would be it. We’d never heard or saw anything like it.

Happy New Years and einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr!

Image from here.